Bill Maher is an American standup comedian. He is also known for his political commentary, television hosting and his acting. He is also an author. He is best known for his political satire and commentary that often ranges in topics from politics to religion and political correctness. He also focuses on areas such as people of high political power and those who are socially known. His career started as a standup comedian and an actor. In 1979, he was the host of the New York City comedy club called Catch a Rising Star.
In addition to this early role, Bill Maher also appeared on Johnny Carson's show and David Letterman's shows in 1982, due in part to Steve Allen who helped to promote him. He also was in several television programs over time, including Murder, She Wrote. His work was often comedy related. His first feature debut film was D.C. Cab in 1983. He was also in Cannibal Women in the Avocado Jungle of Death in 1988 and starred in Pizza Man two years later.
Perhaps what he is best known for is his role on the television show Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher. This late night talk show, with a political influence, was on Comedy Central from 1993 through 1997 until it moved to ABC and ran through 2002.
He opened each show with a monologue and then introduced various guests. The guests on the show included people in show business, popular culture, authors and political individuals. The group of people would discuss various issues that Maher selected. The show won numerous awards including an Emmy Award for Outstanding Technical Direction.
After a controversial comment on the show in 2002, ABC decided to pull the show. However, this did not stop him. In 2003, he became the host and producer of Real Time with Bill Maher. This was an hour long comedy show on HBO that focused on political issues.
The show featured more serious and better informed guests than the previous show. He also holds the record for the most Emmy nominations without a win, being 22 as of 2011. Nine of those nominations were for Real Time. Two others were for the HBO comedy specials he did called Bill Maher: I'm Swiss and Bill Maher: The Decider, with the rest being linked to Politically Incorrect.
Over the years, Bill Maher has appeared in numerous television shows and films. He has made cameo appearances in shows such as Married....With Children, Roseanne, Dharma & Greg and Just for Laughs. He also played himself in The Boondocks and Family Guy both in 2010.
In films, he has appeared as himself in the movies The Aristocrats, Swing Vote, Redligulous, New Rules: Best Of and others. Still, he is best known for his political viewpoints. He calls himself a libertarian and has made his political ideas well known through his programs. In May of 2005, he became a contributing blogger for the Huffington Post, where he provides political commentary on the various aspects of daily life.